Genus Corybas

Corybas Salisb.,
Parad. Lond. (1807) t. 83

Very small sympodial terrestrial or rarely epiphytic plants arising from a small tuber. Stem short, one-leaved. Leaves not sheathing at the base, glabrous, persistent, convolute, heart-shaped to almost round, often with silvery veins, herbaceous. Inflorescence terminal, carrying a single flower. Flowers medium-sized, very large for the plant. Lateral sepals free or connate at the base, very different in size and shape from the dorsal sepal, which is often hood-like. Petals free, sometimes similar to the lateral sepals, but often quite different. Lip with two very short spurs or without spurs, not mobile. Dorsal sepal and the lip together forming a pitcher-shaped structure. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 4, mealy, caudicles absent, stipe absent, viscidium present.

India, southern China, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Pacific islands, east to New Zealand; about 100 species.

Distribution in the Philippines
Luzon (Ilocos Norte, Bataan, Laguna, Rizal); 3 species.

In ground moss in sheltered, not too shady places with little undergrowth, mainly in the mountains. Sometimes epiphytic on mossy tree trunks.

One of the most enchanting and characteristic of all orchid genera. From a tiny tuber the size of a small pea a short stem with a single leaf is produced, which carries a disproportionally large flower shaped more or less like a helmet or a pitcher. The latter is mostly beautifully marked with red and purple, while the leaves often have a network of silvery veins. Species of this genus are generally uncommon even in the wild, and most species are inadequately known. A few temperate Australian species are regularly cultivated by amateurs, but the more spectacular tropical species are very rarely seen in horticulture.